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Match Date: Saturday, April 15, 2017

Bandits 44 - Glasgow 46

SGB Championship

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Olympus Marquees Berwick Bandits (Powered by Mike Hope, Wooler) 44
Glasgow "Allied Vehicles Tigers" 46
(SGB Championship)

Picture above from Colin Poole: Gappmaier (B), Bridger (R), Lawson (W) Heat 10

The Olympus Marquees Berwick Bandits (Powered by Mike Hope, Wooler) needed points from last night's SGB Championship clash at Shielfield Park against current second place in the league table, Glasgow Tigers, so nothing was set in stone especially after Frenchman Dimitri Berge had been withdrawn on medical ground for a wrist injury he had picked up at Edinburgh the night before.

Rider replacement covered his absence with Newcastle's Danny Phillips taking the rides of the injured Ryan Blacklock at reserve, but Liam Carr, who damaged a shoulder at Edinburgh was declared fit to race and took his place in the new position of number four.

After Heat Four the Bandits proved they had finally turned a bend and hit home three 4-2s and a shared 3-3 with Bandits taking all four heat wins taking the score to 15-9, but within heat were some excellent racing, two superbly defended wins from Claus Vissing, especially impressive in Heat Four when Ritchie Worrall was blasting close behind all race.

Tom Perry was a sensation at Berwick a couple of years go and proved he hasn't lost what it takes as he soared round Berwick's guest Phillips in Heat Two while Liam Carr ground to a halt in Heat Three on the first bend when a close encounter whipped his chain clean off.

 Aaron Summers flew from the Heat Five gate to lead and win over a hard chasing Doolan in a shared 3-3, while a second heat winner for the Tigers in Heat Six, Worrall, combined with a third from Perry over Dany Gappmaier in a 2-4 to narrow he gap to 20-16, but a spectacular turn-about saw Gappmaier go from last in Six to fly round Richard Lawson in Heat Seven to take a famous victory in a 4-2 with Vissing taking the score to 24-18.

Doolan took the Eighth with ease as Phillips held an important third in front of some good chasing from Perry at the back as Berwick's lead extended to eight points, and with two good 3-3s, won by Worrall and Lawson respectively, going into the interval Berwick led 34-26.

Summers shocked Vissing completely in Heat 11 after starting at the rear of the field, but down the back straight of the last lap the Tigers skipper shot at speed round Vissing to take the win in a Glasgow 2-4 narrowing the gap to six points, and with a pass from Lawson round Doolan going into the second bend in Heat 12, and a third from Perry, the Tigers were now only four down 38-34 with three heats remaining.

A stunning 1-5 from Worrall and Lawson over Vissing and Doolan in Heat 13 levelled the match 39-39, but Gappmaier brought the house down in Heat 14, battling so hard for all four laps forcing his way past the leading Nike Lunna off the last bend of the race in a brilliant move to share the heat 3-3 and take the match to a last heat decider, 42-42.

And what a race that was with Worrall out in front being blasted from behind by Doolan as Summers had to defend a match-winning third from Bridger who was trying everything at the back, and despite a massive last lap the 2-4 went into the book and Glasgow took the win 44-46.

Team manager for Berwick, Gary Havelock acknowledged the great standard of racing, but there was a darker overtone: "It was a crackin' meeting with great racing yes, but it was a shame we couldn't keep up the good early work through the whole meeting as when we needed to give it the gas it was hit and run, crash, bang, wallop, back to the form that bleeds points, even though yes we were better, we still got nothing.

"We won five of the first six heats, that's nearly more than we've won in the rest of the season put together, but Glasgow are a good side and they applied the pressure when they needed to, to take the points and when they applied that pressure it opened up the cracks in our amour again, so I'm very disappointed and congratulations to Glasgow, although I don't think they were the better team as to be honest a draw would have been the fair result.

"At Glasgow on Sunday we will be going up there in the full belief we can get a point or more and really there's no reason why we can't take something. We're not lying down to be walked over - no, far from it!"

Individual Riders' Score Chart:

Olympus Marquees Berwick Bandits (Powered by Mike Hope, Wooler) 44

1. Lewis Bridger 1,2,1*,1,0 = 5+1
2. Dimitri Berge - Rider replacement
3.Kevin Doolan (c) 3,2,3,2,2,2 = 14
4. Liam Carr R,1*,1*,0 = 2+2
5. Claus Vissing 3,3,1,2,0 = 9
6. Dany Gappmaier (r) 3,0,3,2,0,3 = 11
7. Danny Phillips (guest) (r) 1,1,1,0 = 3
8. Kieran Douglas - Did not ride

Glasgow "Allied Vehicles Tigers" 46

1. Aaron Summers (c) 2,3,3,2*,1 = 11+1
2. Dan Bewley 0,0,2,1 = 3
3. Richard Lawson 1*,2,3,3 = 9+1
4. Nike Lunna 2,0,0,2 = 4
5. Richie Worrall 2,3,3,3,3 = 14
6. Tom Perry (r) 2,1,0,N,1,1* = 5+1
7. Jack Smith (r) 0,0,N,0,N = 0